A father and son from Leicestershire have been cleared of selling non-halal turkey as halal lamb.
A jury acquitted Mohammed Anwarul Hoque, 56, of knowingly helping to supply non-halal turkey that was labelled as halal lamb. His son, Mohammed Zunaid Hoque, 25, who was a part-time deliveryman for the meat wholesalers involved, was also found not guilty.
However, the boss of the now defunct Peterborough-based meat suppliers, Dutch Bangla Direct Ltd, Mahmudur Rohman, was found guilty of all allegations levelled against him, as was his businessman friend, Kamal Rahman.
Sentencing against Rohman and Rahman was adjourned to April 11, pending the preparation of pre-sentence reports.
Judge Marcus Tregilgas-Davey said: “You’ve been found guilty by this jury of what I regard are serious matters, particularly the the description of meat being halal when it wasn’t. I’m granting you bail, but I need to make something very clear to you both (Rohman and Rahman) that I’m giving no indication of the likely sentence. All options remain open and you must appreciate at the forefront of my mind will be immediate custody.”
During the trial, prosecutor Kevin Barry said that owners of restaurants, takeaways and shops across Leicestershire and beyond unwittingly bought tonnes of low-cost turkey that was being passed off to them as more expensive lamb off the bone – netting profits in excess of a quarter of a million pounds. The meat was deliberately wrongly labelled.
Rohman, 46, and Kamal Rahman, 54, were convicted unanimously of the conspiracy as well as selling food which was not the substance demanded by the customer and selling food labelled with a false description.
Rahman was found guilty of perverting the course of justice. He was convicted of five counts of Food Safety Act breaches, possessing an article for use in fraud and selling food with a false description.